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Old 03-16-2005, 04:31 AM   #1
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Discouraged :(

Okay, very new to the saltwater community. Got my 55 gallon tank all set up, tons and tons of Figi and other live rock, proper substrate, 3 Maxi1200 powerheads, TurboTwist UV Coralife Sterlizer running on a Maxi600, Protein Skimmer, dual filters, and massive Coralife hi wattage 4 bulb fixture. I let the tank cycle, took the proper steps, introduced the cleaning crew and a few chromis for cycling with the advice from my lfs after testing my water. Things have been going great now for about 4 weeks after introducing my 3 clown percs, skunk clown w/ a pink tip anemone, fairy wrasse, and hippo tang. Also have an open brain coral, trumpet coral, and leather coral. Here in the past day or so my tank seems to have been freaking out. My PH got very low, my fish started showing a few visable ick spots (from what i have been told all fish have ick, it just takes a drastic change in the tank to make it visable). Immediately after testing and finding out that the ph was deperately low, I added Reef buffer slowly all night tonight and in case of emergency I have my 30 gallon qt set up. So my question is.... When will things ever become stable? Will it ever get to a point where I can enjoy my tank and not feel frightened each morning when I check on my fishies? And if so, how can I reach that point? As a newbie at this hobbie I assume that it just takes time and experience to feel comfortable, as most everything in life. But, it's just easy to get discouraged after attempting to take the right steps and pouring around $2000 into the new tank in the past month. Any feedback or advice would be much appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 03-16-2005, 08:00 AM   #2
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sounds to me like you added things a bit to fast and some water changes may help. Having a proper Ph, isn't as important as having a steady Ph. What are your water test readings? Believe it or not, things do mellow out. You just need to be patient. Your tank is very new and babies need alot of care and attention. Even with an established tank, if you add a large bioload like you have, you can throw your biological filter into chaos. It needs time to catch up and the water changes will help. As for the ich, your gonna need to QT your fish in a separate tank and either do a hypo treatment or copper med treatment to cure them. Then leave your tank fallow (fishless) for 6wks to kill off the parasite in your tank. This is gonna be a drag but, it is necessary to save your fishes. You will need plenty of salt also because your gonna be doing alot of water changes in the QT tank. Hopefully Rev or Quarryshark will come by and give you some better advice on beating the ich. And, lastly, you may want to reconsider that hippo tang. He's not gonna be able to live very long in a 55 gal tank. HTH Good luck.
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Old 03-16-2005, 10:04 AM   #3
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I agree with Cindy that regretfully it sounds like your LFS has advised you to add to much to quickly. Please try to go into more detail as to how much rock, what type of 'proper' substrate, what brand/model of 'dual filter' and what kind of lighting and wattage and bulbs are you using.

You dont go into detail about the water peramiters other than that PH was very low. If you can describe the temp, salinity, PH, alkinity, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels we can get a better picture of whats going on. When you check your PH do you do it after the lights have been on for a long time or just after/before lights come on? In four weeks time you went from an empty tank to a tank with a very full bioload. IMO the fish list of ( a few chromis, 3 clown percs, skunk clown w/ a pink tip anemone, fairy wrasse, and hippo tang) is already at its max for the 55. Ideally those fish should have been added over a period of a few months vs a few weeks.

I would put all the fish in the QT tank. Put one of those filters on your QT tank aswell as it should have some level of biofilter working. You can then treat these fish with hyposalinity and garlic in an effort to remove the ich infestaion. While your QTing the fish I would monitor the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels in the main tank. Now that you have corals in the tank you cant cycle with a shrimp so your going to need to keep a monitor of these levels for the next few months as your biofilter catches up. During that time feed VERY sparingly. At most once every other day so as to not overload your bio filter with uneaten food and fish waste.
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Old 03-16-2005, 09:55 PM   #4
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I kinda rushed into things by making a post like that last night. Regretfully so, I knew this morning after I woke up that I would check this message thread and everything that I typed would be critiqued in every way like the "a Hippo Tang isn't going to make it very long in a 55". I have a 180 gal wide tank on order from glasscages.com and will be coming in next month. I highy doubt that the 3 inch long tang in my tank will outgrow a 55 gallon in less than a month. Every post that I have ever seen on this site regarding ick or regarding a sick fish always gets a hasty response with the general idea "your fish is very sick QT them immediately". I believe alot of you guys overreact when it comes to diagnosing ick and other parasites or bacteria. So, I leave this site with a bitter taste in my mouth, not because I can't take a few little comments, but because you have scared away a newbie. I am quite sure that I am not the only person who feels this way. I came into this hobby excited and then I found a site that looked like it could be helpful! Little to my demise, all that I have found here are people who really don't care to help, but to make you feel like you aren't welcome into a hobby in which we are new at. Maybe after this post some other people who feel the same will feel as though they can speak up in the same way that I did. From now on, I will be taking advise from my local fish store who has been in business for 15 years, not people that frequent messageboards. I think that would be the safest thing to do. In case you care or wonder, my PH levels were perfect today (checked with a Ph pen), along with the rest of my stats and there wasn't a visable spot on any of my fish.
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Old 03-16-2005, 10:14 PM   #5
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Sorry you feel that way. I don't understand why you felt unwanted. We are trying to help you. Just because you don't see the ich on your fish, doesn't mean it isn't present. Ich goes through a dormant state where it falls off the fish. When it comes back, it will be back two folds. I'm glad your Ph has stabled and that you are planning a larger tank for the tang. I wish much success for you and your fish.
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Old 03-16-2005, 10:18 PM   #6
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Well then why did you ask for out opinions of you are just going to discount them? Just because a LFS has been in business for many years, does not make everything they do right. Examples:
Quote:
introduced the cleaning crew and a few chromis for cycling with the advice from my lfs after testing my water
These days it is cruel to use fish for cycling, much more humane ways of doing it.
Quote:
a pink tip anemone, Also have an open brain coral, trumpet coral, and leather coral.
Pretty much common knowledge and widely accepted that these animals should not be placed until a tank matures.
Quote:
and in case of emergency I have my 30 gallon qt set up
Kinda like closing the door after the horse has already gotten out. If their advise is so sound, they should have advised you qt fish BEFORE you place them in your main system. Now you may have a bigger problem and a lot more work because of this great advise.
Quote:
I have a 180 gal wide tank on order from glasscages.com and will be coming in next month. I highy doubt that the 3 inch long tang in my tank will outgrow a 55 gallon in less than a month.
Before you flame us on this, please take note that you did not indicate this in your first post.
Quote:
I believe alot of you guys overreact when it comes to diagnosing ick and other parasites or bacteria.
Did it ever occur to you that maybe some of us have some experiece in treating these ailment and may know a little bit about them? How can you make this determination of you are the self proclaimed "newbie" that you stated. How much research did you do before setting up your system?
We enjoy helping people and will help you solve the many problems that your "all knowing" LFS has helped set up for you, but there is no need to come in here and blast us for the good advise that I see above. If you don't wish to consider our advise, then go back to you LFS with these problems and see what their solution is.
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In case you care or wonder, my PH levels were perfect today (checked with a Ph pen), along with the rest of my
By the way, are you sure they will stay that way? Do you know what to do to keep them self sustaining?
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there wasn't a visable spot on any of my fish.
Do you know why? Do you think they are gone for ever?
I'm sorry, we are the one of the friendliest fish sites out there, but this thread has gotten my blood boiling a bit.
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Old 03-16-2005, 11:20 PM   #7
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So, I leave this site with a bitter taste in my mouth, not because I can't take a few little comments, but because you have scared away a newbie. I am quite sure that I am not the only person who feels this way. I came into this hobby excited and then I found a site that looked like it could be helpful! Little to my demise, all that I have found here are people who really don't care to help, but to make you feel like you aren't welcome into a hobby in which we are new at.
WOW! That looks like it came right out of left field! I'm a self proclaimed newbie too, but with the help of the wonderful people here I've learned a TON in the last 5 months! They've been nothing but friendly, welcoming, helpful, informative and there by my side through my battle with ich. Answering questions day and night, allaying my fears and helping me to know what are valid causes for concern.

I'm sorry that you took their comments harshly. I had to re-read them two or three times after I read your message and quite frankly I still don't know why you got so irate (even you apparently know that tang isn't well suited for a 55). I hope your battle with ich is indeed over, I wasn't so lucky. Those spots came and went and came back a few more and went and then BAM! the poor fish looked like spot the dog.

I'm glad that I had learned from them to QT new fish or I'd be dealing with 8 fish with ich instead of 1.

Oh well "A butt for every seat" is what my grandma always says! My butt's going to stay seated right here! Good luck in your endeavors. May you always have healthy fish!
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Old 03-16-2005, 11:28 PM   #8
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Good, I'm glad it got your blood boiling. Because, it's not easy to enter into a new hobby and find "good" advice without people like the ones on this site talking down to anyone who doesn't know everything about this hobby. I realize that you and others have done this for quite a while, but I would take a LFS's advice quicker than I would anyone on this site. Maybe it's because I am standing there with a handful of cash and willing to spend it in their store, but I don't leave the store feeling like I was belittled for not knowing about something like marine aquariums. At least they are more than helpful and are open minded enough to be willing to teach someone about a hobby that they love. Good, I'm glad that this thread got you're blood boiling, it was my intention to bring to the attention of whomever this is directed at, that newbies have feelings and don't need to be talked to as though we are 5 year olds in a kindergarten class. I am very good and accomplished at many things throughout my life, but never would I make anyone feel as though I am better than them just because I have done it longer. But, then again... This is what makes people different. And then again, isn't this supposed to be a hobby? I guess that is the difference between me and you... Thanks for the kind words, Fluff. It's good to know that there are still a few people on this site that take peoples feelings into consideration. Gee, I wish I never made the mistake of posting in a forum...
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:19 AM   #9
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Maybe it's because I am standing there with a handful of cash and willing to spend it in their store
Thats most likely the reason and as the old saying goes, there is one born every minute.
What a new hobbiest should look at when evaluating advise from people in forums such as this and advise from "some" LFS's is motive. What do we have to gain by sharing out experience with you and taking time out of our day to try and help? What does the LFS gain from it? I'll let you think about that one. But I'm sure you will find that advise condescending as well.
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but I would take a LFS's advice quicker than I would anyone on this site
Good for you. wont be getting any from me, I'm done.
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:23 AM   #10
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Just my 2 cents FWIW. I joined this forum precisely because of misinformation provided by a LFS. My tank had an ich outbreak. When I went to the store, they gave me ich meds and actually sold me more fish! When I asked if the meds would harm the new fish, they told me no. Needless to say, all of those fish died.

I posted my problem and within a short time, my problem was corrected thanks to the folks on this forum.

If had I known about cycling, QT methods and fish compatibility (which I learned here, not anywhere else), I would not have made the mistake of taking everything the people at LFS said as gospel.

Since then, I decided that I would try to help people who have had the same experience as I had. At no time when I was a "newb" did I get the impression that people in this forum were condescending, harsh or inappropriate.

I read and re-read the post and I still can't see your point. You asked for advice for several different problems, and you got it. Nowhere did I see any reference to your being a newb or inexperienced being the problem. Most of the reasoning for your problem was directed at your LFS, not you.
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